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Updated: 8 Jun 2023
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    Illinois Sports Betting 

    It's time to bet, Illinois residents! Illinois residents can now gamble in the Prairie State in both retail and online sportsbooks. Illinois enters other nations with legalized licensed sports betting thanks in part to Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Pritzker signed a capital proposal for $45 billion in June 2019, including betting on sports.

    The first legal bet was accepted by BetRivers Sportsbook when Illinois sports betting made its formal launch in March 2020.

    Online sportsbooks were unveiled in the summer of 2020. According to a recent executive order by Pritzker, bettors must visit the sportsbook’s casino partner to register in person for a new account. 

    The following information is your complete guide for sports betting in Illinois. We have all the live developments from the leading online sportsbooks news and great bonus deals in the land of Lincoln.

    Best Online Sportsbooks in Illinois - 2023

    Illinois’ 13 retail casinos were each given a sportsbook license. So far, ten of those 13 have been filled. Below is a list of our top five favorites, in no particular order. 

    DraftKings Illinois

    DraftKings partnered with Casino Queen in East St. Louis. Opening its retail and online sportsbooks in August 2020, DraftKings is one of the most well-known brands in sports betting. 

    Open a new account with DraftKings and automatically receive a Free $50 bet. Then, make your first deposit and get it 100% matched up to $1,000! 

    They have tons of player props and up to the second live betting for those sports bettors that enjoy living on the edge. 

    William Hill Illinois

    As the most experienced bookmaker, William Hill has been in the sports betting game since 1934. Initially opening in London then expanding to the US, William Hill partnered with the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin. 

    As of July 2021, William Hill is currently offering new players a Risk-Free bet of up to $300, plus all players have access to their weekly promotions and deals! 

    FanDuel Illinois

    You can’t watch a sporting event without hearing about FanDuel, right? RIGHT! FanDuel offers new players a Risk-Free Bet of up to $1,000 with your first deposit, plus they sweeten the deal even more by adding $100 in FREE bets to your account once it’s been verified! 

    FanDuel partners with Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria. You can place sports bets at the casino or using your mobile device on the go. However, you must first register your new account at the retail casino due to IL state law before you can place any wagers remotely. 

    PointsBet Illinois

    PointsBet opened its virtual doors on September 12, 2020, with a partnership with Hawthorne Race Course. So, if you like sports betting and horse races, PointsBet will be your new favorite place! 

    PointsBet has the most generous Welcome Bonus in Illinois, offering new players up to $2,000 in Risk-Free bets; one for your first fixed odds boost and the other for your first PointsBetting wager! 

    BetRivers Illinois

    As the first retail and online sportsbook to break into the Illinois market, BetRivers has made quite a name for itself. They don’t have the most generous Welcome Bonus offer, but they do have a simple banking process and an unmatched loyalty program. 

    Create a new account at BetRivers and receive a 100% Bonus Match up to $250 with your first deposit. No Bonus Code necessary!  

    Sports Betting Apps in Illinois 

    Compared to traditional sports betting at the lottery locations, Illinois sport betting apps are state-of-the-art and highly up-to-date.

    The licensees will collaborate with technology companies and foreign brands to provide Illinois sports betting applications. Many new sports bettors and old-timers would find internet sports betting even more enjoyable than ever.

    Best Sports Betting Apps in Illinois 2023   

    1. DraftKings: DraftKings is incredibly stylish and comfortable to use the app with customization options and cordial navigation. It is available in both popular formats - Apple and Android versions. In each scenario, it has been designed to suit the screen as best as possible for the sportsbook display. You have no excuse for not making DraftKings your go-to sports betting site. 

    2. FanDuel: Look no further than FanDuel if you are searching for a tidy, convenient application. The seamless architecture and lack of chaos make it breezy to switch to different sections of the website.

    3. BetRivers Sportsbook: BetRivers Sportsbook was Illinois' first sportsbook. It has provided the Prairie State with many excellent benefits with a simple yet effective layout. The software is currently only operating on Android, but Apple users can download Geogard and use their browsers to play.

    Operating Geolocation and Remote Registration in Illinois 

    A very frustrating provision has been created for proponents of the proliferation of sports betting in the state under the Illinois Sports Wagering Legislation, enabling online sports betting to be done in Illinois.

    The legislation requires players to register directly in person for the first 18 months after the law’s passage at their selected sportsbook home casino.

    Yet Gov. Pritzker was motivated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdown to temporarily suspend the requirement. For now, people of Illinois can enroll from all over the state for online sportsbook accounts.

    However, you must be within the boundaries of the state to play. Every Illinois online sportsbook uses geolocation monitoring to ensure that you are within limits before a wager is accepted.

    While tracking your precise coordinates can appear intrusive, you have to adjust to this for remote and online sports betting. No bets must cross state borders, and books and regulators are committed to ensuring that each bettor is compliant.

    How Do I Wager On Sports in Illinois? 

    As per the Illinois Law:

    “Sports wagering includes, but is not limited to, single-game bets, teaser bets, parlays, over-under, moneyline, pools, exchange wagering, in-game wagering, in-play bets, proposition bets, and straight bets.”

    Some of the prominent bet types in the state are, therefore:

    Moneylines — Novices usually start with moneyline gambles. These are easy bets for the squad to win a game.

    Totals (over/under) bets — You don't need to worry about which side will win over-under or totals gamble. This is a bet on whether the aggregate score of both teams is more or less than a bookmaker's number — the line which has been set.

    Spreads — In a spread bet, you wager whether your team scores greater or lesser than the bookmaker's stipulated number. Here are points over the line for the favorite team and under the line for the underdog. The spread is covered, and you gain if the favorite succeeds by greater than the points above the line and vice versa.

    Parlays — Parlay wagers give your money the greatest fun. You merge several bets in a parlay bet. All six winners have to be accurately forecast to claim the bet. You might raise a lot of cash in parlays for a small gamble, but you have to take a risk.

    Propositions — It is the all-encompassing term for any bet not tailored to one of the above types. A prop bet is, in general, a gamble on auxiliary activities to the result of the game. Certain odd bet, combination bet, or alternative bet will typically be a prop. Live betting — One sort of prop bet is rapidly becoming one of Illinois' most dominant types of sports betting. Post the commencement of a sporting event, live or in-game bets are taken. At the start of the game, bets no longer close.

    Futures Bets in Illinois

    One kind of wager needs special mention. The futures bet, a bet on events that arise well beyond the road, is a good bet for any season.

    For people who want to gamble on their favorite sports team, futures wagers are the solution irrespective of the season. Although your team Chicago Bears, may not be in the game, you can gamble on the likelihood of the team winning in the Super Bowl.

    There is still another season, even when the Bulls lose the playoffs. You will still be able to bet on the Blackhawks claiming the next Stanley Cup.

    Specific players can also be a futures bet. If you believe that the Cy Young Award will be awarded to Yu Darvish, you can bet on it. You will put money on the MVP award if you think it will be won by Jose Abreu.

    There are loads of ways to gamble on Illinois' futures. Some of the wagers are here:  

    • Super Bowl champion

    • NBA Finals champion

    • World Series champion

    • Stanley Cup champion

    • Conference or division winners

    • Win totals from the regular season

    • Individual award winners

    • Statistical leaders

    • Player benchmark achievements

    You Can’t Bet on Some Sports in Illinois

    By statute or regulation, there are some constraints on betting in Illinois. 

    State college sports are entirely off the charts.  Unfortunately, Illinois players cannot gamble in their home state at the University of Illinois or Northwestern.

    Only sporting activities are to be used for wagers. There is no provision for betting on awards, polls, or any other non-sports event.

    And also, you can't gamble on the sport while you are taking part in a specific sport as a player, referee, coach, or any other principal. All other sports are alright, but there are too many conflicts of interest in your own sport.

    Legal Options for Sports Betting in Illinois 

    There are several sites in Illinois to place bets. Casinos, race tracks, off-track gambling websites, and online sites are accessible.

    This portion should be your reference for any sports betting location in Illinois. We also have a bit of horse betting despite live and online horse betting being considered a separate part outside real sports betting and given separate regulatory status.

    But let us speak about the condition of traditional sports in Illinois before we get to all the numerous locations to go.

    Most Popular Sports to Bet on in Illinois  

    NFL Bets in Illinois 

    There is only one NFL team in Illinois:

    • Chicago Bears: Soldier Field, 1410 Museum Campus Drive, Chicago, IL

    The Bears are one of the oldest and best-known teams in the NFL. There are more past Bear players in the Hall of Fame than any other NFL team. 

    Betting on NFL games usually revolves around the teams and stats. Some statistics are popular such as a quarterback's yards or touchdowns for a receiver.  The tradition of Sunday NFL games means parlay bets are also a popular option to bet on football.

    MLB Bets in Illinois

    Thanks to the size of Chicago, not just one but two Major League Baseball franchises take place here. These are: 

    • Chicago Cubs: Wrigley Field, 1060 W. Addison St., Chicago, IL

    • Chicago White Sox: Guaranteed Rate Field, 333 W. 35th St., Chicago, IL

    In the last 20 years, both teams have won World Series titles, and both look forward to continuing this streak. Though both teams seldom meet, they share a strained relationship. 

    DraftKings partnered with the Chicago Cubs to open a DraftKings Sportsbook at Wrigley Field.

    You may notice a particular anomaly instead of the usual spread bet option if you choose to wager on Major League Baseball. Because of the low scoring of baseball, Illinois sportsbooks use the so-called run line. A run line calibrates the spread to 1.5 runs but changes the payout to be similar to a moneyline rather than a real spread bet.

    NBA Bets in Illinois

    In Illinois, there is a single prestigious NBA franchise. 

    • Chicago Bulls: United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., Chicago, IL

    Very few have been at par with the Bulls, who rose to success in the 1990s. The most prominent athlete ever, Michael Jordan, spent a large portion of his career as a Bull and helped the team to win six championships through the decade.

    Betting on NBA games is very basic. In general, there are many opportunities to wager on totals, individual props, etc., because there is a lot of scoring during NBA matches.

    NHL Bets in Illinois

    There is one NHL team from Illinois:

    • Chicago Blackhawks: United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., Chicago, IL

    The Blackhawks are one of the founding and most established teams in the NHL. In the 2010s, the Blackhawks were three-time Stanley Cup winners. 

    Hockey, like baseball, is a low-scoring sport that poses a problem for Illinois sportsbooks that wish to make a spread bet. A bet called a puck line has been enforced, which is the baseball equivalent to a run-line. 

    How to Sign up for an Online Sportsbook in Illinois

    Suppose you visit one of the home casinos for Illinois online sportsbooks or sign up during Pritzker's limited remote time of registration. In that case, the registration process is very similar.

    So what you need to do is listed below:

    1. Pick from one of the Illinois sports betting websites. It is necessary to use our links since certain bonuses and promotions are exclusively for our readers. Take notice of any bonus code we have provided, too. Press on the button "Play now."

    2. Select and download the application format that's appropriate on your device.

    3. Go as you typically would through the installation process. To download from unknown sources, Android users may need to configure their phones to allow it.

    4. Open the application and check for the button 'registration.’ The label "register up" or "join," "register," or anything equivalent commonly will be at the top-right corner of your screen. Click on the button.

    5. At this point, the application must bring you to its registration page(s). As specified in the blank spaces, you need to provide your personal information. Be ready to give personal information such as name, address, telephone number, email, and Social Security number.  

    6. Fill any bonus codes you have in the allotted alternate blank. They might give you some free money for your account.

    7. You might have to confirm your email address after your registration.

    8. You can start playing with any bonus dollars or deposit on the site through the cashier feature.

    Off-Track Bets in Illinois 

    The state racetracks are assigned a set of OTB slots according to the Illinois Horse Racing Act and can be used to open off-track wagering spots. The legislation can enable tracks to open up as many as 43 off-track locations in the state.

    The three tracks have not yet planned to do so. Arlington Park has opened 10 locations, Hawthorne Race Course has 10 locations, and three are operated by Fairmount Parks and per the State records. These figures are expected to increase or shrink following business demands, so the following list is just a glimpse. In Illinois, these are the OTB venues:

    • Time Out OTB: 315 Belle St., Alton

    • The Piazza: 85 Executive Drive, Aurora

    • Corliss OTB: 11203 S. Corliss Ave., Chicago

    • Trackside at Joe’s Bar: 940 W. Weed St., Chicago

    • Crestwood OTB: 13148 Rivercrest Drive, Crestwood

    • Post Time Sports Bar & Grille: 13860 Rockland Road, Green Oaks

    • Trackside at Salerno’s: 9301 63rd St., Hodgkins

    • Trackside at the Saddle Room: 2559 Pratum Ave., Hoffman Estates

    • Bookie Magee’s: 2450 Jefferson St., Joliet

    • Black Eyed Susan: 17030 Torrence Ave., Unit G, Lansing

    • Salerno’s Pizzeria and R Bar: 621 Ridgeview Drive, McHenry

    • Stoney Point Grill: 19031 Old LaGrange Road, Mokena

    • Blono Pizza Co.: 1304 Cross Creek Drive, Normal

    • The Turf Room: 650 Randall Crossings Lane, North Aurora

    • Oakbrook Terrace OTB: 17W648 22nd St., Oakbrook Terrace

    • Furlong’s Sports Grill & OTB: 110 W. Etna Road, Ottawa

    • Bullpen Bar & Grill: 3225 N. Dries Lane, Peoria

    • Players Pub & Grill: 1250 South River Road, Prospect Heights

    • Don Carter Lanes: 4007 East State St., Rockford

    • Route 3 OTB: 2400 Mississippi Ave., Sauget

    • Capital Teletrack: 1766 Wabash Ave., Springfield

    • Trackside at Crazy Pour: 105 East North Ave., Villa Park

    • Trackside Waukegan: 630 S. Green Bay Road, Waukegan

    About the author
    Frank Weber
    Frank Weber
    Sports Journalist & Betting Analyst

    Frank Weber is a sports & gaming writer with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and years of experience in the gambling world. He loves baseball, football, basketball, soccer, and the UFC - he even collects sports cards and memorabilia! In his free time, you could find Frank either out at a concert with friends, or at home sweating out all his (soon to be won) bets!

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